Camarines Norte Travel Guide

Things To Do In Camarines Norte

Camarines Norte is a province located in the Bicol Region of the Philippines. It is situated on the northeastern part of the island of Luzon and is bordered by the provinces of Camarines Sur to the south and Quezon to the west. The provincial capital is Daet. One of its popular destinations is Calaguas Islands, a group of stunning islands with white sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters. The islands are known for their untouched beauty and are a favorite spot for camping, swimming, snorkeling, and beachcombing. Another must-visit place in Camarines Norte is Bagasbas Beach, located in the town of Daet. It is known as a surfing haven and attracts both local and international surfers. Bagasbas Beach is also a great place to relax and enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. For history enthusiasts, Camarines Norte has several historical landmarks and sites. The town of Daet is known as the "Cradle of Philippine Democracy" because it played a significant role during the Philippine Revolution against Spanish colonization. The Rizal Monument in Daet is dedicated to the national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. There are also ancestral houses and museums in the area that showcase the province's rich history and culture.

Where to Go

Calaguas Islands

Experience pristine white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters on the Calaguas Islands. Mahabang Buhangin Beach is a standout, offering a serene escape from the bustling city life.

Bagasbas Beach

A popular spot for surfers, Bagasbas Beach is known for its long stretch of grayish sandy shores. Whether you're a seasoned surfer or a beginner, the waves here provide a thrilling experience.


Explore the provincial capital, Daet, where you can find historical sites like the Daet Cathedral and the Rizal Monument. Daet is also known for its vibrant local arts scene.

Mercedes Group of Islands

Discover the captivating islands of Mercedes, known for their white beaches, sandbars, and clear waters. Take a boat tour to explore Apuao Grande, Apuao Pequeña, and other nearby islets.

Parola Island

Also called Lighthouse Island, Parola offers panoramic views of the surrounding waters. The island is home to a historic lighthouse and is a great spot for sightseeing and photography.

What to Do

Island Hopping in Calaguas

Explore the stunning Calaguas Islands and go island hopping to discover the pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and picturesque landscapes. Enjoy activities like swimming, snorkeling, and beachcombing on Mahabang Buhangin Beach.

Surfing in Bagasbas

Head to Bagasbas Beach in Daet and try your hand at surfing. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced surfer, the waves here provide an exciting experience. Surf schools and equipment rental are available in the area.

Visit the Daet Cathedral

Explore the historical and cultural side of Camarines Norte by visiting the Daet Cathedral (St. John the Baptist Cathedral). Admire the architecture, attend a Mass, and learn about the local history.

Trekking in Mount Labo

Adventure enthusiasts can embark on a trekking adventure in Mount Labo. The trek offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes and a chance to connect with nature.

Discover Apuao Islands

Take a boat tour to the Mercedes Group of Islands, including Apuao Grande and Apuao Pequeña. Enjoy the serene atmosphere, relax on pristine beaches, and marvel at the beauty of these lesser-known island destinations.

Lighthouse Experience in Parola Island

Journey to Parola Island, also known as Lighthouse Island, and climb to the top of the historic lighthouse. Enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding waters and capture memorable photos.

Bird Watching in Labo

If you have an interest in bird watching, the municipality of Labo is known for its avian diversity. Explore the natural surroundings and observe various bird species in their habitat.

When is the Best Time to Visit Camarines Norte

The dry season, typically running from November to April, is considered the best time to visit Camarines Norte. During this period, the province experiences lower chances of rainfall, providing visitors with sunny and pleasant weather. The dry season is ideal for beach activities, island hopping, and outdoor adventures, as the clear skies and calm seas enhance the overall travel experience. Calaguas Islands, Bagasbas Beach, and other outdoor attractions are particularly enjoyable during this time, allowing visitors to fully appreciate the natural beauty of Camarines Norte.

The wet season in Camarines Norte occurs from May to October, characterised by increased rainfall and occasional typhoons. While this season brings lush green landscapes and vibrant flora, it may pose challenges for outdoor activities due to unpredictable weather conditions.

How to Get to Camarines Norte

By Air

The most convenient way to reach Camarines Norte is by air. The province is served by Naga Airport (WNP) and Virac Airport (VRC). Travelers can book flights to these airports from major airports in the Philippines, such as Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) in Manila.

From the airports, one can take a connecting flight to Naga or Virac, depending on the specific destination in Camarines Norte.

By Sea

For those who prefer a maritime journey, there are ferry services and passenger boats that connect various ports to Camarines Norte. The major ports in the region include the Port of Tabaco in Albay and the Port of Pio Duran in Albay.

From these ports, ferry services operate to the Port of Daet in Camarines Norte. Travellers should check the ferry schedules and availability, as they may vary.

By Car / Bus

Travelling by land is another option, especially for those coming from nearby provinces or regions. Buses, vans, and private vehicles ply the routes to Camarines Norte. Major highways, such as the Pan-Philippine Highway (Maharlika Highway), connect Camarines Norte to neighboring areas.

Bus companies operate daily trips to Daet, the provincial capital, from cities like Manila and Naga. Private vehicles provide flexibility for those who prefer a self-drive adventure or wish to explore the scenic routes on the way to Camarines Norte.

How to Get Around

By Taxi / Ride-Sharing Services

Getting around Camarines Norte by taxi or ride-sharing services is a convenient option, particularly within urban areas like Daet. Taxis are readily available, and ride-sharing platforms may operate in certain areas. While this mode of transportation is suitable for short distances or quick trips within the city, it might be less common in more remote or rural locations.

By Car / Motorcycle

Renting a car or motorcycle provides travelers with the flexibility to explore Camarines Norte at their own pace. Rental services are available in major towns, and driving offers the freedom to visit various attractions, including scenic spots and less accessible destinations. Roads are generally well-maintained, but it's advisable to check local traffic regulations and road conditions.

Motorcycles, locally known as "habal-habal," are a popular choice for short-distance travel, especially in areas where four-wheeled vehicles may have limitations.

What to Eat

Camarines Norte offers a variety of dining options catering to various budgets and tastes, ensuring there's something for everyone.

Local Food

Camarines Norte boasts a vibrant local food scene, showcasing the region's rich culinary heritage. From street-side vendors to charming local restaurants, travellers can indulge in a variety of authentic dishes that highlight the province's unique flavours. Here are some of the notable restaurants such as Hoogpaan, KSarap Restaurant, DCA Signature and Leo's Cuisine.

Fresh Seafood

Camarines Norte is renowned for its abundance of fresh seafood, sourced directly from the rich waters surrounding the province. Travellers can visit the restaurants around the island, such as Seafood Savor, D'swamp Seafood Restaurant, Luz Kitchen and Chef's Grill & Restaurant.

Western Food

Camarines Norte predominantly features local culinary delights, there are establishments offering Western cuisine such as Cowboy Restaurant, M. Cecilia Restaurant, Alvinos Roast Grill & Fry, Chef Carlo Steakhouse and Pañero's Seafood & Ribs.

What to Buy

When shopping in Camarines Norte, consider bringing home a piece of the region's rich culture and craftsmanship. Explore the local markets for unique items such as intricately woven fabrics, abaca products, handmade crafts, pili nut delicacies, and locally produced treats. Discover the vibrant pottery scene and discover distinctive pieces crafted by local artists. These authentic souvenirs not only serve as mementos of your visit but also contribute to the preservation of Camarines Norte's cultural heritage.

Where to Stay

Camarines Norte offers a range of accommodation options to suit various preferences and budgets. Visitors can find beach resorts, hotels, inns, and guesthouses scattered across the province, particularly in popular areas like Daet.

Beachfront resorts provide a tranquil setting for those seeking a relaxing escape, while hotels and inns in urban centers offer convenient access to local attractions. The variety of accommodations caters to both leisure travelers and those on business trips, ensuring a comfortable stay in Camarines Norte.

What to Bring

  • Bring sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses to shield yourself from the sun's rays.
  • Comfortable sandals or flip-flops are ideal for beach outings, while a pair of sturdy walking shoes may be useful for hiking or exploring.
  • If visiting during the wet season, a compact umbrella and a lightweight rain jacket can come in handy.
  • Stay hydrated by carrying a reusable water bottle, particularly if you're engaging in outdoor activities.
  • Ensure your electronic devices stay charged by bringing the necessary travel adapters.
  • While there are ATMs in urban areas, having some local currency can be useful, especially in more remote locations.

What to Wear

When planning your wardrobe for a visit to Camarines Norte, it is advisable to pack lightweight and breathable clothing, given the tropical climate of the Philippines. Comfortable and airy fabrics, such as cotton and linen, are recommended to help you stay cool in the warm temperatures.

Things to Note

  • Stay hydrated, especially in the warm weather, and use sunscreen to protect against the sun. Consider bringing insect repellent, particularly if you plan to explore nature reserves.
  • The local currency is the Philippine Peso (PHP). While ATMs are available in urban areas, it's advisable to have some local currency on hand, especially in more remote locations.
  • Keep a list of important contacts, including the local emergency numbers, contact information for your accommodation, and the nearest embassy or consulate.
  • Filipino and English are widely spoken, but learning a few basic Filipino phrases can enhance your travel experience and interactions with locals.

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